Raising stones in beds can be beautiful and practical – if you plan, create and maintain them correctly from the start. If you follow these 4 practical tips, you can enjoy your gravel garden for a long time.
A gravel garden can be an easy-care alternative, but only if you pay attention to a few points when planning and laying out. With our four practical tips, the dream of a gravel garden will come true!
- Weed control as an important separating layer
There are two ways of combining gravel and plants: In both cases, the surface is first weeded, leveled and then covered with a robust, UV-stable, water-permeable weed fleece. It prevents the weeds from spreading in the gravel garden. The edges have to overlap a little. In the first variant, the tissue is then cut in a cross shape at the desired points with a knife, the plant is inserted and finally the gravel is applied. Alternatively, you can first fill the entire area with stones and only push them aside at the planting points. Metal pins fix the fleece so that it does not shift.
- Limit the gravel garden
So that the stones don’t wander or mix different colors and grains, clear boundaries are important, especially if the gravel bed is directly adjacent to a lawn or a normal bed. A band of cobblestones, set in some concrete, is a stable and permanent border (photo below). Metal rails (photo above), for example made of stainless steel, galvanized steel or dark corten steel, are a bit more subtle in appearance. However, they should not be stepped on as they can easily bend. In the case of embankments, it is important that the separating edge towards the lawn or sidewalk is slightly higher than the stone filling so that nothing can slip off. Slopes that are too steep are better divided into several horizontal levels, for example by low walls or edging. This also makes very large areas look more lively.
- Mulch with stones
“Real” gravel gardens are not limited to the five to eight centimeters thick layer of fine stones above the weed fleece, which compensates for temperature fluctuations and reduces evaporation: In addition, the topsoil is mixed with gravel or crushed stone to a depth of spade so that the typical drought-loving plants find ideal conditions . For purely decorative purposes, the stone layer is only spread over the fleece, but performs the same mulching tasks. However, germinating weeds are primarily suppressed by the fleece.
- Against unwanted growth
Keeping the area clean is a bit of a challenge in the long run. Leaves and other plant residues should be removed regularly with a rake or a leaf blower so that they do not decompose and form fine humus in the cracks, which would be an ideal breeding ground for weed seeds that have been flown over. An overstretched network in autumn can make this work easier. The best prevention against mossy stones is a sunny location. If the surface becomes too thick one day, a special surface cleaner with a protective grille can help.